Xconomy San Francisco  – Cory Kidd discovered during a graduate school project at MIT Media Lab that patients are more likely to follow doctor’s orders if they get the nudge from a talking robot, rather than the same reminder from an animated character on a computer screen.

That research, and his further health robotics work, prompted Kidd to found Catalia Health in 2014. He’s been touting the persuasive powers of the startup’s prototype robot, Mabu, at conferences for several years now, based on field tests with patients. An initial production run of 500 yellow Mabus with big amber eyes will begin in China soon, because Catalia has landed its first three commercial contracts to send them into patients’ homes on behalf of clients such as drug companies and healthcare systems.

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